Winter Toy Appeal: More gifts needed for children in Hackney, Haringey and Islington living in poverty

Basil and Jenna Fansa with last year's toys.

Basil and Jenna Fansa with last year's toys. - Credit: Archant

The team behind a Winter Toy Appeal are pleading for more donations of gifts to give to children experiencing extreme poverty.

The Local Buyers Club, which covers Hackney, Haringey and Islington, runs the annual appeal in partnership with estate agent Location Location, and last year reached more than 4,000 kids.

The toys are dished out by social workers and through refuges, children's centres, schools, food banks and Hackney Migrant Centre.

Local Buyers Club founder Jenna Fansa said: "The gift referrals from agencies are coming in thick and fast and we don't yet have enough donations to meet the need.

"Thousands of families in north and east London are experiencing hardship - we're hearing of parents going hungry so their children can eat and families living in cramped, cold and damp conditions. The rollout of Universal Credit has impacted local families terribly.

"Please give what you can - there's no better feeling on Christmas morning than knowing you've helped bring a little festive magic to children who have had the hardest of times."

Last month data showed Hackney was the third worst borough in the UK for child poverty in 2018, with Islington fourth.

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This is the sixth Winter Toy Appeal, and each year the Ivy Street Family Centre in Hoxton gives out toys in Hackney.

Numerous businesses act as drop-off points, including the Deli Downstairs, The Rio Cinema, L'epicerie 56, Location Location and Askew Eyewear.

Places to donate in Islington include Crops & Bobbers in Essex Road, Studo 4 and Bourne's Fishmonger in Highbury Barn.

Anyone who wants to donate can also buy gifts online here. The deadline is a week on Friday.

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